April 4th General Election Ballot


  The St. Louis general election is just around the corner, Tuesday April 4, 2023. Early (no excuse absentee) voting is open now. I’ve voted absentee by mail. Vintage photo of the former offices of the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners. From my collection In the March 7th primary …

My Zip Code Has the Lowest Average Credit Scores in the St. Louis Region


  A new database uses average credit scores as a measure of a community’s financial wellbeing: The Financial Wellness Index dashboard and mapping – created in partnership with Experian – provides a unique snapshot of a community’s financial health as measured by the average credit scores of its residents. Credit scores …

Preliminary Look at the Newest MLS Stadium: CITYPARK, Home of ST LOUIS CITY SC


  Tomorrow, Saturday March 4, 2023 is the first league match at CITYPARK, in the Downtown West neighborhood of St. Louis — home to the 29th team in Major League Soccer (MLS). On August 20, 2019 MLS announced a St. Louis-based ownership group selected to become the 29th team in …

Four Recent Books From Island Press


  Trying to get caught up on posts, so rather than four individual posts these four books from 2022 are grouped together. — Steve ‘City Forward: How Innovation Districts Can Embrace Risk and Strengthen Community’ by Matt Enstice with Mike Gluck To me it seems like nearly every new development project …

Recent Articles:

Awaiting NCAA Rules on Collegiate Athletes Getting Paid for their Image, Likeness

November 13, 2019 Education, Featured, Popular Culture Comments Off on Awaiting NCAA Rules on Collegiate Athletes Getting Paid for their Image, Likeness

During part of my undergraduate days, mid-late 1980s, I worked part-time at Toys “R” Us — I was paid $5.90/hour at the end. I also had a small 401k plan. Not the worst college job.

For the top college athletes their sport is their college job. Their scholarship may cover tuition, books, room & board, but it doesn’t help them if they have family that needs financial help. And what if they get injured during playing college sports? Yes, they’re getting a degree that’ll help later on, but to stay in college many of the top athletes pass on a lucrative professional contract that would allow them to help their family now — while hoping they don’t get a career-ending injury.

Most college athletes aren’t anticipating a big contract after graduation, nor should they expect big endorsement deals during college. Though I could see local businesses offering sponsorship to popular team athletes. I can also see problems with male players getting more & bigger deals than female players who’re just as popular/talented.

Chaifetz Arena is home to the Saint Louis University (SLU) basketball team.

Here’s the results of the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll:

Q: Should College Athletes Be Able To Get Paid For Their Name, Image, or Likeness?

  • Yes: 10 [47.62%]
  • Unsure: 6 [28.57%]
  • No: 3 [14.29%]
  • Don’t care: 2 [9.52%]

It’ll be interesting to see how the NCAA writes & enforces the new rules around college athletes.

Also, congrats to the SLU women’s soccer team for getting to play in the NCAA Tournament.

— Steve Patterson

Thank You To All U.S. Veterans

November 11, 2019 Events/Meetings, Featured Comments Off on Thank You To All U.S. Veterans

Today is a day to honor veterans of the U.S. armed forces. I never served, but my oldest brother spent 24 years in the Navy (1969-1993).

Veterans Day (originally known as Armistice Day) is a federal holiday in the United States observed annually on November 11, for honoring military veterans, that is, persons who have served in the United States Armed Forces (and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable) It coincides with other holidays including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day which are celebrated in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of World War I. Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. At the urging of major U.S. veteran organizations, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.

Veterans Day is distinct from Memorial Day, a U.S. public holiday in May. Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day honors those who have died while in military service. There is another military holiday, Armed Forces Day, a minor U.S. remembrance that also occurs in May, which honors those currently serving in the U.S. military. (Wikipedia)

St. Louis’ WWI memorial, known as Soldiers Memorial. Click image to view website.

I found the following on the VA’s FAQ for today:

Q. Which is the correct spelling of Veterans Day?

a. Veterans Day
b. Veteran’s Day
c. Veterans’ Day

A. Veterans Day (choice a, above). Veterans Day does not include an apostrophe but does include an “s” at the end of “veterans” because it is not a day that “belongs” to veterans, it is a day for honoring all veterans.

A planned Veterans Day Ceremony and Wreath Laying today at Soldiers Memorial has been canceled. Many regional Veterans Day events were held on Saturday.

— Steve Patterson

Sunday Poll: Should College Athletes Be Able To Get Paid For Their Name, Image, or Likeness?

November 10, 2019 Featured Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Should College Athletes Be Able To Get Paid For Their Name, Image, or Likeness?

Please vote below

No, this blog isn’t becoming a sports blog — but for 15+ years I’ve posted about politics & public policy.  College athletes being compensated, especially those attending state schools, is a part of the public policy dialogue.

Recently the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) voted for a major change of policy:

The NCAA’s move comes on the heels of the California’s Fair Pay To Play Act, signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom back in late September. The legislation sets a path for collegiate athletes in the state to benefit off their likeness, whether it be from sponsorships, appearances, video games, etc. And while that was set to go into effect in 2023, the NCAA’s proposed allowance would begin in 2021. (Yahoo Sports)

California wasn’t alone in pushing for this policy change.

Pressure from states, with California taking the lead and Florida, New York and New Jersey quickly piling on, broke down a longstanding NCAA rule prohibiting student athletes from earning money from endorsements and other outside sponsorships. (Politico)

There is a lot of debate about this issue — no consensus if this change is good or bad policy. What do you think?

This poll will close at 8pm tonight. My thoughts and the results Wednesday morning.

— Steve Patterson

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 22 of 2019-2020 Session

November 8, 2019 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 22 of 2019-2020 Session

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen meet at 10am today, their 15th meeting of the 2019-2020 session. As previously noted, they have the first two meetings labeled as Week #1, so they list this as week/meeting 21.

Board Bill 11 is on the perfection calendar — final approval.  If signed by Mayor Krewson this would set up a vote to keep the size of the Board of Aldermen at 28, rather than reduced to 14 in December 2021. Voters narrowly approved Prop R in November 2012 with 61.5% — 60% was required.

Today’s agenda includes eight (8) new bills.

  • B.B.#146 – Navarro – An Ordinance to amend the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code; and containing a severability clause, savings clause, and an effective date.
  • B.B.#147 – Vaccaro – An Ordinance adopting the 2018 International Plumbing Code with amendments; repealing Ordinance 69255; and containing a penalty clause, severability clause, saving clause and emergency clause.
  • B.B.#148 – Spencer – An Ordinance recognizing the increasing public health threat of viral hepatitis, HIV, AIDS and other blood borne diseases as a result of the use of unsterile syringes and needles, accepting the evidence of harm reduction offered by Syringe Services Programs (SSPs) as well as their treatment benefits and, other laws to the contrary notwithstanding, authorizing the Director of the City of St. Louis Department of Health to establish a pilot Syringe Services Program in collaboration with a private sector organization and for the Director to issue standards, policies and procedures for health, safety and welfare as a part of this pilot Syringe Services Program; and containing emergency and severability clauses.
  • B.B.#149 – Davis – An Ordinance recommended and approved by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing the Director of Airports and the Comptroller of the City of St. Louis (the “City”), owner and operator of St. LouisLambert International Airport® (the “Airport”) to enter into andexecute on behalf of the City the First Amendment to Automated Teller Machine Concession Agreement, AL-361(“First Amendment”) between the City and Bank of America, N.A. (“Concessionaire”), amending the Automated Teller Machine Concession Agreement (“Agreement”); the FirstAmendment was approved by the Airport Commission and is attached hereto as ATTACHMENT “1” and made a part hereof,and its terms are more fully described in Section One of this Ordinance; containing a severability clause; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#150 – Ingrassia – An Ordinance approving the petition of an owner of certain real property to establish a Community Improvement District, establishing the Chouteau Avenue Corridor Community Improvement District, finding a public purpose for the establishment of the Chouteau Avenue Corridor Community Improvement District, and containing an emergency clause and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#151 – Moore – An Ordinance authorizing Amendment No. [4] to the Amended and Restated Lease (“Amendment No. 4”) between the City of St. Louis and EPV2 Dignity House, LLC, originally authorized by Ordinance 64565, which was adopted by the Board of Alderman of the City of St. Louis and approved September 28, 1998, and subsequently amended pursuant to Ordinances 64913, 64913, and 68941, for property and improvements commonly known as the Homer G. Phillips Dignity House located at Whittier and Kennerly Streets; and Containing an Emergency Clause and Containing a Severability Clause.
  • B.B.#152 – Ingrassia/Guenther/Coatar/Cohn – An ordinance prohibiting medical and mental healthcare providers from providing conversion therapy, also known as reparative therapy, ex-gay therapy, or sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts to a minor, regardless of whether the provider receives compensation in exchange for such services, and providing penalties for the violation of said prohibition; and authorizing the Director of the Health Department to receive, investigate, and refer to the City 6 BB Counselor for prosecution in municipal court complaints of alleged violations of the provisions of this ordinance, and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#153 – Clark-Hubbard – Pursuant to Ordinance 68937, an ordinance authorizing the honorary street name Malik and DeBorah Ahmed Way, which shall begin at the intersection of Semple Avenue and Page Boulevard and northeast on Page Boulevard to the intersection of Arlington Avenue and Page Boulevard

The meeting begins at 10am, past meetings and a live broadcast can be watched online here. See list of all board bills for the 2019-2020 session — the new bills listed above may not be online right away.

— Steve Patterson

St. Louis’ Newly Bill Requiring Reporting of Those Who Fail a Gun Background Check

November 6, 2019 Crime, Featured, Politics/Policy Comments Off on St. Louis’ Newly Bill Requiring Reporting of Those Who Fail a Gun Background Check

Grand Theft Auto’s gun store Ammu-Nation

I thought the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll would at least get the usual number of responses, but it got way less.

Q: Agree or disagree: St. Louis’ new background check bill (#106) is a waste of time & money.

Strongly agree: 2 [15.38%]

  • Agree: 2 [15.38%]
  • Somewhat agree: 1 [7.69%]
  • Neither agree or disagree: 0 [0%]
  • Somewhat disagree: 2 [15.38%]
  • Disagree: 4 [30.77%]
  • Strongly disagree: 1 [7.69%]
  • Unsure/No Answer: 1 [7.69%]

The few gun retailers in the city will need to report to the St. Louis Police when an applicant has failed a firearm background check.

”A waste of time & money” was the most frequent criticism I read last week. Given how few gun stores exist in the city and only about 1% fail a gun background check, I don’t see this is a big issue.

”Criminals don’t buy guns” is another I heard. For this I turned to Politifact:

[U.S. Rep] Faso said “The vast majority of crime that is gun related is committed by people who illegally are possessing that firearm.”

People can differ on what constitutes a “vast majority.” What’s more, illegal gun crime is not well researched in the U.S. The latest data is more than a decade old. One analysis of the data showed Faso’s claim is not true in some states while true in others. But experts say most gun crime is likely committed by those who illegally possess guns.

His statement is accurate but needed additional information. We rate it Mostly True.

So this likely won’t reduce crime in St. Louis. However, since 1982, 74% Of mass shooters obtained their guns legally. So there’s potential the St. Louis Police may get the name of someone who failed a background check — if they could’ve bought a legal gun they might’ve committed a mass shooting.

The fact is we’re not going to ever know the effectiveness of this new bill. However, we do know that few who lie on their application are prosecuted — even though that’s a crime.

— Steve Patterson